The Chaos in Participating

While I would love to believe that a participative culture is the best kind, I can’t help but think about how detrimental that kind of culture could be for an organization or company. However, the idea of an authoritarian culture gives individuals the movie-like picture of a cruel boss who has complete control over his or her workers, and treats them unfairly. As we discussed in class, the word authoritarian has a very negative connotation, and participative has a positive connotation, but these connotations can be largely false. I worked for a small deli not long ago, where I ended up quitting due to the lack of organization. Organization is key to a successful company, and this deli had no sense of it whatsoever. They definitely had a Participative culture, whether they wanted it like that or not, the personalities of the owners were so relaxed and they always worried what their workers were feeling…. how unprofessional. I would leave work frustrated each day I worked because no one who was working, including me had any idea about what was going on which caused customers to become upset; obviously. The reason no one had any idea what was going on was because when an employee would ask a question about what to do they would respond, “Well you could do this, but what do you think? You can make the final decision because I trust you.” Well how does this solve anything… that’s right, it doesn’t. Because I am a highly organized person, and feel it is important to have a well-run business in order to keep customers and employees happy, I ended up quitting this job.

I’m not saying all Participative cultures in organizations are like this, and aren’t successful. I do think organizations should have some kind of participative culture-feel to them, so employees who have good ideas can share them and improve their organization. However, I am a big proponent of a Authoritarian culture, where there is a clear division of authority throughout the company or organization. An athoritative culture can be beneficial in many ways as long as the ones in higher power are not too forceful and cruel.

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